The A-List Murders

A Hallie Marsh Mystery

by Merla Zellerbach

"Engaging...Down-to-earth characters and an intriguing plot will keep fans of sweet romantic mysteries turning the pages." Publishers Weekly

As acting editor at a society magazine, Hallie Marsh is on the scene reporting when murder intrudes at a birthday celebration onboard a regal yacht. She can only follow her focus and search for the killer, by sifting through the secrets of the A-list set she was born to.
Mystery/Romance
   214 pgs
  hardbound
  9781939434043
$27.50 ($21)

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Hallie Marsh: The heroine now of five novels became an accidental detective after breast cancer changed the course of her life. Surrounded by medical expertise and malfeasance, she has evolved novel by novel, as the mystery within begins to reflect the mystery without. Indeed, book by book, she realizes her calling: to do good. After all, charity is large, public, and blessed; crime is small, secret, and destructive...In Hallie’s society set, life may be seen as fragile, indulgent, and rewarding at the same time. The joy of the moment can reverse in an instant, as history may turn on a dime in her self-defining city.

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Dying to Dance

A Hallie Marsh Mystery

by Merla Zellerbach

"Enchanting...San Francisco local color, credible characters, and an intriguing plot will appeal to fans both old and new." Publisher's Weekly 11-30-12

"Thoroughly enjoyably, flawlessly plotted and paced, Merla Zellerbach writes my kind of San Francisco hijinks!" Sean Wilsey
Mystery/Romance
   190 pgs
  hardbound
  9780915090457
$24.50 ($21)

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Hallie Marsh, an accidental detective, smart and casual, who enjoys the PR life, and the potential for charity that it affords her, appears again this year in a new novel, that brings Hallie's panache and daring to grips with the crimes committed over control of a dance club dating service.

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Love to Die For

by Merla Zellerbach

The third novel in the Hallie Marsh Mystery Series

"a winner" - Publisher's Weekly


A Firefall original

  Mystery/Romance
   224 pgs
  hardbound
  9780915090396
$27.50 ($19)

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“Merla Zellerbach has written a clever thriller about a San Francisco sleuth navigating the strange waters of modern romance in pursuit of justice.” Peter Kaufman, Filmmaker and Executive Producer of the HBO film Hemingway & Gellhorn

"Love to Die For is the best yet. Don't let Zellerbach's breezy prose fool you. This is a brilliantly crafted classic whodunit in the tradition of Agatha Christie's best.  Plan on settling in when you begin Love to Die For; you'll be hooked!"  Madeline Levine, author of The Price of Privilege

"Award-winning author and editor Merla Zellerbach has painted a brilliant new mystery with a gutsy woman named Hallie Marsh, an accidental detective, as her heroine. Her story is set in Zellerbach's native San Francisco and is wrought with wit and elegance. Zellerbach's smooth prose and careful plotting will remind readers of early Mary Higgins Clark and Danielle Steel."  Gentry Magazine - Page Turners

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        novel

236 pgs hardbound 9780915090525
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first reading

 Books Inc
Laurel Village, SF
December 1, 2010

The Missing Mother

by Merla Zellerbach

The Second Novel in the Hallie Marsh Mystery Series

Hallie Marsh, through a tangle of romance and murder, searches for a vanished mother.

"Merla Zellerbach does it again! The Missing Mother thrills with intrigue and amazing details. Absolutely first rate!"  George Christy, Hollywood author/columnist

"You won't be able to put The Missing Mother down. All the prime ingredients for edge of the chair suspense are here...lust, medical malfeasance and a pacing that will make you late for dinner. If you like surprise twists and a neat ending, you'll love this book..."  Dean Edell, M.D., "America's Doctor" - KGO Radio

“The Missing Mother is as juicy as a Herb Caen column and as labyrinthine as Lombard Street. Readers will fly through its pages. Zellerbach is San Francisco’s Dominick Dunne.” Tom Dolby, author of The Sixth Form and Secret Society

"I delved into The Missing Mother just as I'd finished one of Stieg Larsson's mysteries, and dared any other author to keep me so captivated. But Zellerbach's new Hallie Marsh mystery did it! I devoured it in one long obsessive feast. A good read!” Moira Johnston, Award-winning author




Publisher's Weekly Advance Review - 11/15/2010
In Zellerbach's appealing second romantic mystery featuring San Francisco publicist Hallie Marsh (after 2009's Mystery of the Mermaid), Hallie's new flatmate, physical therapist Sara Bowman, asks Hallie for help in finding missing journalist Jenna Snow. Sara has been looking after wealthy Dale Redington, who's recovering from burns suffered when he tried to rescue an elderly man from a house fire and whose former nanny was taking care of Jenna's baby. Dale is under the care of Dr. Mitchell "Mitch" Cummings, who covets funding for a new clinic from Dale's family foundation. As Mitch begins an affair with Daisy, Dale's diva wife, Sara, and Dale grow closer. Hallie, aided by her fiancé, journalist Dan "Cas" Casserly, unearths two murders in her search for Jenna. Smooth prose and careful plotting will remind readers of early Mary Higgins Clark and Danielle Steel. (Feb.)

The Author and the Reading Experience
Merla Zellerbach, a native San Franciscan, former editor of the Nob Hill Gazette, and a 23-year columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, gives us her ninth novel, a romance/mystery, set in San Francisco.


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a novel
204 pgs hardbound 9780915090747

readings
Books Inc
Laurel Village, SF
October 21, 2009

Book Passage
Corte Madera, CA
January 23, 2010

Mystery of the Mermaid  

by Merla Zellerbach

The First Novel in the Hallie Marsh Mystery Series

A luxury cruise ship hosts modern day romance, mystery, and suspense.

"An upbeat story for anyone who fears breast cancer, and a fast, fun read for cruise ship buffs, romantics, and mystery lovers..." Senator Dianne Feinstein

"I loved it! As the story unfolds, you'll become involved in Hallie's personal happiness and delight in the solving of this mystery at sea. Sharp dialogue, great descriptions of San Francisco life, and of course, the cruise experience. This book is a gem. I recommend it as a treat!"  June Lockhart

"Literary wizardry at its best!  I devoured Merla Zellerbach's Mystery of the Mermaid, her eighth novel, and anyone yearning for a  you-can't-turn-the-pages-fast-enough thriller will devour this whodunit that simmers like a rolling boil about to explode. Merla's labyrinthine ploys kept me racing through the chapters, the colorful Bay Area characters tease and captivate with their romantic (and horndog) twists and turns during a luxury cruise to South America, as they discover the mermaid's secret, and wonder who the hell's the murderer among them. Novelist Mary McCarthy claimed that memorable fiction requires good underpinnings, which Merla delivers big time, and Agatha Christie would rate Mystery of the Mermaid with an A-plus." 
George Christy

"Fans of old-fashioned romantic mysteries will welcome Zellerbach's lighthearted puzzler set mainly aboard a Norwegian luxury liner on a 42-day South American cruise."  Publisher's Weekly

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The Plot
Hallie Marsh, a young single woman who has it all, suddenly finds herself a breast cancer survivor. Her wit keeps her calm and on course. Hoping to adjust to her new body image, she takes a luxury cruise. But strange things happen on board: a passenger disappears, a body turns up in a cabin, and a handsome journalist romances her unexpectedly.

The Author and the Reading Experience
Merla Zellerbach, a native San Franciscan, former editor of the Nob Hill Gazette, and a 23-year columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, gives us her eighth novel, a romantic whodunit, set in San Francisco and at sea.


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Secrets in Time  

"a fast and fun read" - Carolyne Zinko, San Francisco Chronicle 

"engaging" - Marshall D. Norris

"a simmering stew of almost everything a reader could want" - Fran Moreland Johns

"As a San Franciscan, I found Ms. Zellerbach's extraordinary grasp of the city's social history to be fun and fascinating. Most importantly though, she weaves a wonderfully romantic, witty, and sophisticated tale that will please a variety of readers. This is a page-turner done with style and verve."  - Stephanie L
       a novel
   292 pgs
  hardbound
  0-915090-30-9
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ebook

available
for ipad
and iphone
from Apple

The Reading Experience
No one knows the inner workings of San Francisco society better than Merla Zellerbach, a native San Franciscan, former editor of the Nob Hill Gazette, and for 23 years a columnist with the San Francisco Chronicle. This, her seventh novel, is a chance to closely experience the entanglements of a powerful newspaper dynasty, and enjoy the family's secrets over time in San Francisco.

The Plot
Yvonne believes marrying a good man like Marc is the right thing to do, but her heart still belongs to Paul Amory, a soldier she believes to be dead. Soon after her stylish marriage, Yvonne’s father, James Tyler Stockton, the family patriarch and publisher of the San Francisco Herald, dies, leaving the fate of the dynasty he’s created in doubt. His four children from two different marriages seek their own paths. The lives of his offspring mirror the time they live in, differently. Indeed, his family delivers fashion and news among the rich and powerful on a daily basis. The differences bring them into decisive conflict, complicated by the loves they pursue, and the secrets they protect.

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